Biden to launch ‘Buy Clean’ task force in US

The White House will unveil a new task force on Tuesday to promote the use of construction materials with lower lifecycle emissions as part of its effort to expedite federal purchases of greener products.

President Joe Biden announced in December that the government, which spends more than $650 billion annually on goods and services, intends to cut emissions by 65 percent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The Council on Environmental Quality and the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy are forming a multi-agency “Buy Clean Task Force” to help “establish markets for low carbon materials,” according to a White House official.

It will make recommendations on how to increase federal procurement of clean construction materials and determine which products, such as steel and concrete, as well as pollutants, should be prioritised for federal acquisitions.

Construction is a major source of CO2 emissions around the world. According to the International Energy Agency, the production of cement, the major ingredient in concrete, accounted for 7% of world CO2 emissions in 2019.

On Tuesday, the government’s landlord, the General Services Administration, will issue information requests focusing on concrete and asphalt as it draughts national low-carbon criteria for Land Port of Entry projects.

The Department of Transportation will also announce new initiatives to increase the use of low-carbon materials in federal projects.

Biden said the government, as the country’s “single largest land owner, energy consumer, and employer,” can change “how we build, acquire, and manage power, vehicles, buildings, and other operations to be clean and sustainable” in his December executive order.

By 2035, he wants the government to stop buying gas-powered automobiles. By 2030, the federal government plans to consume all of its electricity from carbon-free and non-polluting sources.

This month, the White House pushed the United States Postal Service (USPS) to reconsider a multibillion-dollar plan to purchase a new fleet of mostly gasoline-powered delivery vehicles.

Without additional government money, the agency has stated that it does not intend to purchase a considerable number of electric vehicles.

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